As Patanjali Food and Herbal Park Ltd prepares to launch its unit in the MIHAN area on Saturday, former Nagpur Congress MP Vilas Muttemwar has demanded a CBI probe into the allotment of land to the company at a “throwaway price”. The company is led by Yoga guru Ramdev.
The company is set to hold a grand show Saturday to be attended by Union Surface Transport and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Ramdev himself. Over 1 lakh farmers would attend the programme as well, the company has claimed.
At a press conference, Muttemwar said, “The sale of the land to Ramdev’s company at Rs 25 lakh per acre is a largess doled out by the BJP governments at the state and the Centre for Ramdev’s campaigning for the party before the general elections. Ramdev had said that Narendra Modi would bring back all the black money and Rs 15 lakh would be deposited in everybody’s account. The BJP is only repaying the debt.”
Muttemwar added, “The going rate in MIHAN is Rs 1 crore. Clearly, the Patanjali group has been unduly favoured in the name of providing employment and the case must be thoroughly probed by the CBI.” Muttemwar targeted Gadkari and said, “He has been asking for land for Ramdev’s group and the land is being given to Patanjali at Amravati, Katol and Gadchiroli.
Gadkari, who has miserably failed in fulfilling the promise of giving 50,000 jobs to the youths in Vidarbha, is trying to cover up by favouring Ramdev in the name of employment generation. The facts of the case must come to light through a CBI probe.”
“As the Opposition party, Fadnavis had demanded culpable homicide offence against then CM Prithviraj Chavan. Now that farmers’ suicides have gone up in his regime, the same should apply to him,” added Muttemwar.
Meanwhile, Patanjali Yog Samiti media incharge Manoj Khandale said, “The company has invited farmers to the function from all over the state.” Special buses are being arranged to bring in the farmers. Sources in the BJP said, “Those in the BJP associated with Ramdev will also attend the function in large numbers.”
As reported earlier by The Indian Express, Patanjali won the third bid in the tender process for the food park on technical grounds since no other bid was received. There were some peculiar conditions in the tender like imparting farm techniques to thousand farmers from the region annually and buying local farm and herbal produce worth Rs 100 crore annually.
The CM had justified the land allotment saying that the food processing industry had not been successful anywhere without the government’s support, like providing land at low price. Calling the loss of Rs 170 crore on account of providing 220 acres of the MIHAN land to Patanjali at a low rate “notional”, the CM had said that the loss would be recovered after the land rate in MIHAN was raised by 15 per cent for future buyers and that it was necessary in the interest of Vidarbha’s farmers.